Black Friday sales were more about clothing and electronics in the beginning; now, every industry is getting in on the game. And the travel sector is not an exception. Customers worldwide expect to get unbeatable deals on Black Friday.
Some travellers may have already visited your website and checked out your tours. And they may not have reserved a spot yet, expecting a good deal since Black Friday sales are around the corner (the same way we have a wish list of favourites on eCommerce sites hoping for the prices to go down).
The irresistible Black Friday offers can nudge them to make that booking. These promotional offers may even help you fill reservations for your off-season calendar.
So, it’s time to ramp up your marketing strategies for Black Friday and here are some ideas to boost your booking and help you get started.
Analyze your Previous Campaigns
Kickstart your marketing strategy by analyzing previous campaigns. If you have run Black Friday sales in recent years, it’s time to dig through the sales data again.
Try to understand which campaigns worked best and which didn’t—Which one of your tours and activities made the most sales? Which promotional channels gave you more traffic? Did your campaigns bring in new customers? Answering these questions will help you develop a better marketing strategy for this year.
Prep Your Website
Get your website ready for the big sales. Make sure to highlight Black Friday sales and your most popular products on the home page. Web visitors should quickly find the deals without having to search for them. Activities should have bookable dates well into next year, and your gift cards page should be ready to accept transactions..
Embedded website messages that appear when a customer indicates some form of intent are an excellent way to capture the attention of visitors. Keep a countdown timer along with the offers to reinforce the fleeting nature of the Black Friday sales and prompt impulse purchases.
Also, ensure mobile optimization of your website. Mobile is the preferred platform for shopping for Millennials, and about 80% use mobile phones to make purchases often. So, optimize your website and the online booking process for mobile, providing bookers with a seamless experience.
Use Promotional Tools
Promo codes are always a compelling reason for your guests to book with you. You can run many campaigns with promo codes. Use them to offer a discounted price for returning customers or a bonus tour to those who have already booked a tour. Or it can be a simple BLACKFRIDAY20, offering a 20 percent discount for your new bookers.
With an online booking system, it will be easy for you to plan a promo code campaign. (We may sound like a broken record, but we firmly believe an online reservation system for tour and activity operators can make a huge difference). From creating different promo codes for various activities to measuring the campaign’s success, a reservation system can help you plan an effective promo code campaign.
The holiday shopping season kicks off around Black Friday, and you have a real chance to boost sales on gift cards as many now prefer gifting experiences to material things. Those who gift experiences to their loved ones are on the rise. Searches for “gift card online” have grown globally by over 100% yearly.
Offer gift cards at a flash sale price during Black Friday. Again, the reservation system comes with gift card features. For example, your Zaui-powered online booking engine can offer gift cards either for a specific tour or activity or one particular denomination. The shopper can send the digital gift card—with the personalized message, activity details, redemption code, and link— straight to the recipient’s inbox. Those shoppers who prefer a tangible, hard-copy gift can print out the activity gift card and send it along with their holiday cards.
You can join hands with fellow operators in your destination to create packages. Your potential customers will not hesitate to seize the opportunity to enjoy a bundle of tours and activities at a discounted price. Partnering with other operators will also help you reach a wider network.
Promote Black Friday Offers
The website is the first place to advertise your sales. Besides the website, cross-channel marketing is essential to whip up the excitement over these deals and strengthen customer engagement. Without adequate promotions, your potential customers may not hear about your irresistible Black Friday deals.
If you have the budget, you can opt for paid online ads. But, if you do not have money to invest in ads, you can rely on the most effective marketing channels—email and social media.
If you have a successful email marketing strategy, you know what we are about to suggest. If you don’t have one, worry not, you can start with a Black Friday campaign.
You may already have a list of previous customers’ emails. You may also have a list of those who made queries about the tours, but never booked.
Send all of them a ‘teaser’ email about the upcoming sales. If possible, personalize your emails. Your previous guests should not be getting the same offer as your potential customer. Follow it up with an email, listing the latest promotional offers exclusive to Black Friday. Remind them that it’s a limited-period offer, which may tempt them to grab the offer as soon as possible.
Having an active social media presence and tons of followers is a surefire way to promote your business and increase brand awareness. If you are still struggling with it, check out social media strategies for tour and activity operators.
Identify the best channel to reach out to your target audience for promotions. Focus more on the social media channel you believe will give you the best results.
In the run-up to the sales, post reminders about Black Friday and Cyber Monday to whip up the excitement. Let them know that you have some great offers in store.
Remember, every other company is racing to capture its audience’s attention on Black Friday. Your prospects’ inboxes and social feeds will be crowded with promotional offers. So, ensure that your copy, visuals, graphic, and even offers are attractive enough to get the attention of your target audience.
Extend Your Offers
It’s not just Black Friday. There is Cyber Monday, which means Black Friday to Cyber Monday could be a shopping weekend for shoppers!
So, run your promotions a little longer. You can start your promotional campaigns earlier or extend them a few days more.
However, it shouldn’t be months long—not a good idea to extend the same Black Friday offers until Christmas. Limited time offer creates a sense of urgency, compelling the customer to get the deal as soon as possible. Always highlight the campaign’s duration, letting them know it’s an exclusive offer for Black Friday Sales.
Black Friday offers can definitely boost your online bookings and sales. Start your planning early, prepare your strategy, define goals, finalize the discounts you can offer, and promote them. However, do not forget the cardinal rule of any promotional campaign — crunch the numbers and ensure that it doesn’t hurt your budget.